Kevin Costner’s divorce with ex Christine Baumgartner is only one of the many splits to send shock waves from Hollywood this summer.

From Sofia Vergara and Joe Manganiello to Reese Witherspoon and Jim Toth, and “The Bear” star Jeremy Allen White and Addison Timlin, celebrity divorce lawyers shared insight as to what could potentially be fueling the fires behind this season’s relationship splits.

Brett Ward, partner and co-chair of the Matrimonial and Family Law Practice Group at Blank Rome, said that a myriad of issues may be putting pressure on any power couple, including the SAG-AFTRA and Writers Guild strikes. 


Sofia Vergara, Kevin Costner and Ariana Grande

Sofia Vergara, Kevin Costner and Ariana Grande are just a few Hollywood stars involved in divorces this summer. (Getty Images)

Celebrity lawyer Christopher C. Melcher says that in general, he’s seen a recent increase in “gray divorces,” while another expert admits the rise in summer separations might have to do with when stars “feel comfortable to endure the scrutiny or have their children endure it.”


“There’s no doubt that the strikes are adding to the tension in those households. Daily life has been interrupted,” Ward told Fox News Digital. “Combine that with financial pressures and individuals suddenly spending a considerably higher amount of time together – all of these will increase the tension and can often lead to high divorce rates.”

“People are out of work. They don’t know when they’re going back to work, which causes tension, and they aren’t being paid,” Ward said. “Being stuck at home with less money coming in can expose a lot of problems. Our normal daily routines can help distract us from our problems. But if the routine is interrupted, it can expose any number of cracks in a relationship, and not working brings the added stress of financial pressure. 

Ward added, “For many in the entertainment business, work is also their creative outlet. Without question, losing this outlet can exacerbate issues. Any kind of psychological issue you have starts to be exposed when you are sitting around your house doing nothing.”

Melcher, a partner at Walzer, Melcher & Yoda, told Fox News Digital that “this summer has been a season for divorce.” 

Kevin Costner and Christine Baumgartner walk red carpet at Hollywood event

Christine Baumgartner filed for divorce from estranged husband Kevin Costner in May after 18 years of marriage. (Frazer Harrison)

Kevin Costner attends red carpet with wife Christine.

Baumgartner cited April 11 as their date of separation. (Lester Cohen)

Baumgartner first filed for divorce from Costner on May 1, citing “irreconcilable differences.” The date of separation was listed as April 11, 2023.

“There’s no doubt that the strikes are adding to the tension in those households. Daily life has been interrupted.”

— Brett Ward, partner and co-chair of the Matrimonial and Family Law Practice Group at Blank Rome

They both filed for joint custody of their three kids: Cayden, 16, Hayes, 14, and Grace, 13. He also has three children with his first wife, Cindy Costner, and a son from a previous relationship. 

Judge Thomas Anderle ruled in July that Baumgartner will receive $129,755 per month in child support. Costner will be required to pay $200,000 in attorney’s fees and $100,000 in forensic costs.

Costner is being represented by celebrity divorce attorney Laura Wasser, 55. She reportedly charges upwards of $1,000 per hour and has a $25,000 retainer. 

Wasser was also recently retained by Joe Manganiello who filed for divorce from Sofia Vergara just as summer was heating up – and days after her 51st birthday.

Kevin Costner wears black suit at wedding to Christine Baumgartner

Kevin Costner and ex Christine married in Aspen in 2004. The former couple have three children together. (WireImage House)

Sofia Vergara and Joe Manganiello walk red carpet together at Oscars party

Joe Manganiello filed for divorce from ex Sofia Vergara in July after seven years of marriage. (Presley Ann)

The estranged couple first met at the White House Correspondents Dinner in 2014. Vergara, 51, attended the event with her then-fiance, Nick Loeb.

In documents obtained by Fox News Digital, Manganiello, 46, listed their date of separation as July 2. Vergara and Manganiello had been married for seven years.


“One explanation could be a pent-up desire to split, as couples had to put their lives on hold to weather through the pandemic and now have the freedom to go their separate ways,” Melcher said of the handful of high-profile divorces. “The strong housing market has created lots of equity that make it easier for couples to fund their new lives apart.”

Melcher also noted a “nationwide trend where older couples are divorcing more than ever.”

“A recent study by the National Center for Family & Marriage Research compared the divorce rates in the US in 1990 and 2021 by age group and gender,” he said. “Per the study, the overall divorce rate has gone down, but it doubled for couples 50-year-olds, and tripled for 65-year-olds. Women over 65 are filing for divorce four times more than they did in 1990.” 

Sofia Vergara and Joe Manganiello at Oscars party

Sofia Vergara and Joe Manganiello met in 2014 and were engaged one year later. (Getty Images)

Joe Manganiello and Sofia Vergara kissed at the Vanity Fair Oscars party

Sofia and Joe packed on the PDA months before at the Vanity Fair party in March. (Getty Images)

Melcher admitted the data matches his experience, and he’s seeing more clients over the age of 50 – and particularly women – filing for divorce.

“Younger couples are not calling us for a divorce as often,” Melcher said. “Gray divorce has been increasing, especially for couples who wait until their kids have left home to split.”

While he agreed that “financial pressure can break a marriage,” he recognized that the ongoing strikes are likely affecting industry professionals with less income.


“The strike is impacting couples who live paycheck-to-paycheck more than those with savings. The ugly dynamic is that spouses who are fighting over the money issues have little ability to split until their finances improve,” Melcher said. 

“Living separately means supporting two households on the same income the family had when they lived together. It forces a reduction in their lifestyles, except for the extremely wealthy.” 

“The strike is impacting couples who live paycheck-to-paycheck more than those with savings.”

— Christopher C. Melcher, celebrity lawyer and partner at Walzer, Melcher & Yoda

Reese Witherspoon and Jim Toth settled their divorce the first week of August. 

Reese Witherspoon and ex-husband Jim Toth attend Moet event in Los Angeles.

Reese Witherspoon and Jim Toth announced their divorce in March after almost 12 years of marriage. (Michael Kovac)

Reese Witherspoon poses with her children Ava and Deacon on red carpet with husband Jim Toth

Witherspoon shares daughter Ava and son Deacon with ex-husband Ryan Phillippe. She also has a 10-year-old son with Toth. (Gregg DeGuire)

The former Hollywood power couple had been married for nearly 12 years before she filed paperwork to end their union in March.

Documents obtained by Fox News Digital showed that the Academy Award-winning actress cited “irreconcilable differences” in her divorce filing with Toth, a former top talent agent with CAA.

As part of the settlement, Toth and Witherspoon signed a parenting plan for their 10-year-old son, Tennessee. An agreement was also signed that the pair will not speak negatively about each other or other family members in front of their son.

Neither Witherspoon nor Toth will pay alimony, and court costs will be split 50/50, according to the documents. If a disagreement were to arise pertaining to the marital dissolution agreement, Witherspoon and Toth have agreed to pursue mediation before resorting to a court hearing.

Reese Witherspoon and Jim Toth share a tender moment at SAG Awards

The “Sweet Home Alabama” actress wrote that their divorce was out of “mutual respect.” (Kevork Djansezian)

Ariana Grande and estranged husband Dalton Gomez reportedly separated after two years of marriage. 

Grande, 30, has spent months in the United Kingdom filming the movie adaptation of Broadway’s “Wicked.” It’s unclear if Gomez, a real estate agent, has been by her side throughout filming. 

The pair married during the peak of the pandemic in May 2021 at their home in Montecito, Calif. They began dating in January 2020 and were engaged by the end of the year.


Their change in relationship status only came to light after she was spotted at Wimbledon without her wedding ring. 

Ariana Grande wears grey sweater and white hat at Wimbledon tennis match

Ariana Grande appeared at Wimbledon last month without her wedding ring. (Karwai Tang)

          View this post on Instagram                      

A post shared by Ariana Grande (@arianagrande)


A source told People magazine that the couple separated earlier this year “have been quietly and lovingly working on their friendship.”

“The Bear” star Jeremy Allen White is in the midst of a divorce with estranged wife Addison Timlin. 

The former couple were married for nearly four years before she filed paperwork in a Los Angeles courthouse in May to end their union.

White and Timlin, an actress who starred on “Californication,” first met as teenagers and later married at the Beverly Hills courthouse with Coldplay’s Chris Martin and his girlfriend, Dakota Johnson as witnesses. They now have two daughters together: Ezer Billie, four, and Dolores Wild, two.

Jeremy Allen White and Addison Timlin walk red carpet at Golden Globe Awards

“The Bear” actor has two children with estranged wife Addison Timlin. (Matt Winkelmeyer)

The Bear star Jeremy Allen White wraps arm around ex-wife Addison Timlin

Jeremy Allen White and ex Addison Timlin are in the midst of a divorce after four years of marriage. (Gregg DeGuire)

The estranged couple each filed the required paperwork to establish a home base for their children under the Uniform Child-Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (UCCJEA.)

Shawna Woods, managing partner with the Atlanta Divorce Law Group, explained how prominent divorces can sometimes be considered around family schedules. 

“Part of timing in celebrity divorces, or any high-profile- divorce, is when they feel comfortable to endure the scrutiny or have their children endure it,” Woods said. 

“It’s a common perception that it’s better for the children to be on holiday from school to deal with the family divorce, but that’s not necessarily true. It’s often better for the children to have school provide their structure while going through the turmoil.”


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